It’s a rainy, dreary day, much like the days before and the days to come.
Did you realize how many forms of “rainy days” there are?
I’ve spent the last decade or more running myself so ragged, I never had time to notice. Rainy or sunny, relatively cold or relatively hot. That was all I cared about as I threw on a weather-appropriate outfit and dashed out my front door.
There’s silence in my life now.
As a baccalaureate, one would think I’d be busier than ever or in the midst of applying to grad schools.
Instead, I’m slowly unveiling the gift of quiet.
There’s a joy in coming home after a full day and work and having nothing else to do. No thesis to research, phonology problems to solve, or mock business plans to write.
If I work at 6am, I know that I can occasionally stay out late the night before and take a nap after work. No classes to go to immediately afterwards or group projects to coordinate.
When I have two days off, I can go on an out-of-state adventure, or just go back home and visit my parents. I can teach myself a new recipe or take a new path around town.
I can watch the skies.
Adjectives that used to be used only when people asked “is it raining out?” now I pay attention to in real time.
Is it misting? The moisture seeping from the sky? Is it slow and steady? A monsoon in the midwest? There’s hail – is it the size of a penny or the size of a golf ball?
It’s not that I’m gaining a new obsession.
I just see.
I know that this a rare period in my life where I can slow down, where people aren’t dependent on me, my responsibilities are limited, and I am allowed to breathe.
I’ve always used my half-hour walk down town as a means of mentally processing, usually skipping songs on my iPod to provide a soundtrack for my emotions and in that manner blocking out the world around me.
With time to breathe, I take time to see. And now I take time to listen.
I take out my earbuds. I listen to the cars blasting their music as they pass me. I listen to the heavy breathing of the runners passing me as they master the hill. I listen to the chatter of the birds arguing across the street. I listen to the turning of the cranes at the construction sites, to the laughter of the freshmen as I pass by the dorms.
In the early mornings, though, there’s something special.
I listen to the silence of the morning.
I listen to the quiet gurgle of the river as it falls over the dam.
I listen to my footsteps on the bricklay of the ped mall.
It’s a new experience for me to see the world in my own city, to allow myself to move slow enough.
I feel like this is the first step in a new stage of life.
For the first time, I am quiet.
Now it is time to allow both questions and answers to seep into that silence without distractions or a place to run and hide from them. I have no idea what I will find, what is around the next corner. But as I’m stepping into this adult world with all its changes, costs, and duties, it’s time to embrace it all and still hear the rain outside my window.
When I have two days off work, I can travel out of state. Or I can stay in my bedroom and paint for hours. Or I can drive twenty minutes out of town and find myself isolated with nature spreading her wings out before me.
It’s really, truly beautiful.